I strongly believe that the centralized energy production and distribution in our country is a detriment to citizens. We’ve seen issues with oil refineries being unable to meet demand due to production issues and electrical distribution systems that are unable to provide adequate power to meet demands. This is where local generation can be a large benefit. However, there are many who do not want this in their backyard in spite of the benefits. There is a legitimate concern about what happens with local power generation as they can be visually intrusive (i.e. wind turbines) or environmentally disruptive (i.e. hydroelectric). This has been a problem for years even with non-green technologies. How many complaints about high voltage power lines are there.
What needs to happen is a thorough understanding of what impact any type of local generation will have. Rather than speculation show the exact effects that a wind turbine farm will have on the landscape.
There has been talk in my town of placing a series of turbines on a ridge that overlooks my home. While this would disrupt the pristine beauty of the mountain, I would be proud of the green generation taking place. There has also been talks about building a hydroelectric dam to produce power enough for the town and to sell to the grid. The feasability studies for these projects takes years to complete and are also bogged down by people who may not have a full understanding of the positive impact of these projects.
It’s important that all issues in any of these projects be carefully investigated and addressed. The article at Renewable Energy World outlines what many companies need to do to get their projects accepted by the local community.
While we all would love to enjoy the benefits of greener and cheaper power we must work past the knee jerk “Not in my backyard” response that has caused problems in the past. Being able to allow local communities and individuals to safely generate their own power is the solution to the energy crisis. Lets work on getting that accomplished.